Category: Mobile Devices

Lobbycast

 

Folks, we truly appreciate your patience with all of this iTunes nonsense.  To recap, iTunes wasn’t polling our feed after the hosting migration.  I tried resubmitting the feed, but iTunes was rejecting it as being a duplicate.  The problem there is that the podcast wasn’t showing up in searches of their service.  It was really frustrating!  The day before yesterday, I did my regular re-submission, fully expecting the same result (not insane) and the feed was accepted and approved!

Here’s where we need your help:  This show is now, for all intents and purposes, brand new to iTunes.  We need you to rate and review the show in order to get us back in the mix and into more peoples’ ears.  Will you do that for us?  Thank you!

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pgl-lobbycast/id672018462?mt=2

 

PS4 console

 

I will go ahead and go through the motions here, but the biggest news is that Sony will have no DRM restricting the playing of used or rented games.  Also, many customers won’t see the value of the Kinect sensor, so the PS4 coming in at $399.99 will look like a bargain.  Sony really stuck it to the Xbox One today.  Microsoft should count themselves lucky that they were able to do their briefing first.  Following this Sony briefing would have been difficult, to put it mildly.

The show started with the standard Sony gaming montage that cycles through so fast that if you didn’t already know the titles in depth, you wouldn’t really know what you were watching.  This has always struck me as an odd practice.  After the video, Jack Tretton started talking about Vita.  Sony has big plans for Vita, with 85 more titles releasing by the end of the year.  The remote play functionality with the PS4 will secure the Vita’s position as the handheld to own.

Next up were some games for the PS3.  There was a nice run of titles, including ‘The Last of Us,’ ‘Puppeteer,’ ‘Rain,’ ‘Beyond: Two Souls,’ ‘Gran Turismo 6,’ ‘Batman: Arkham Origins’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto V.’







The console is now shown for the first time.  It has a similar look to the Xbox One, a mix of gloss and matte black.

Sony launches into their media portion of the briefing, talking about how exclusive content from other Sony divisions will be making its way to the PS4 through the Video Unlimited and the Music Unlimited apps.  Redbox Instant will also be arriving on PS3, PS4 and Vita.

Time for more games!  This set includes ‘The Order: 1886,’ ‘Killzone: Shadow Fall,’ DriveClub,’ ‘Knack’ and ‘The Dark Sorcerer.’





Sony is supporting indie games in a big way with the PS4, including giving developers the ability to self-publish.  They show off a pile of games, including a new Oddworld title.  This sequence is worth a watch.

The PS3 and PS4 will get exclusive Diablo III content.

SquareEnix pops up to talk about Final Fantasy XV (previously FF Versus XIII) and Kingdom Hearts III.


More games!  ‘Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag,’ ‘Watch Dogs,’ ‘NBA2K14,’ ‘Elder Scrolls: Online’ and ‘Mad Max.’





And this is where Sony sticks in the knife and twists it.  There are a number of digs at the Xbox One’s authentication requirements and reassures gamers that they support used games and have no restrictions whatsoever.  They also gloss over announcing that online multiplayer will now be a feature of Playstation Plus and will no longer be free.  It’s less than $5/mo, so I don’t think this will be a huge problem for PS4 gamers.

Adding insult to injury, Bungie shows off a multi-player demo of ‘Destiny.’

With that, Sony announces the launch price of $399.99.  Done and done!

redboxinstant
 

Redbox Instant by Verizon is the newest of arrivals into the streaming video arena.  Most people are well familiar with the RedBox brand, having seen or rented movies or games from one of it’s over 43,000 kiosks, but will that be enough to ensure success?  Only time will tell.

Fans of Netflix Instant Watch will feel very comfortable with the Redbox Instant interface.  It is easy to navigate and sort through titles and streaming is fast and responsive.  I tested streaming both through the PC and through the Android app on my Droid Razr Maxx.  ‘Kevin Smith Burn in Hell’ and ‘Faces in the Crowd’ were the two movies I chose for the review.

The issues I had at this point, while easily remedied, did color my experience a bit.  I started the Kevin Smith show on the PC, while simultaneously streaming ‘Faces’ on my phone.  No issues so far.  I stopped both and then attempted to resume each movie on the other device, which was a little more trouble.  There were issues on both with accessing the licensing server.  I had to sign out and back in on my phone to alleviate the problem and I had to back out and re-try a couple of times on the PC to get the video to resume.  This is something that I see as either not happening to everyone or something that will be fixed well before the beta test is over.

Redbox’s ace in the hole is that their subscriptions ($8/$9 per month) include four free rental tokens at their kiosks.  You pay an extra dollar for access to Blu-ray rentals.  This is a great deal for people who already rent an average of a movie a week.  If you are a movie lover, this is definitely a good way to go, especially once the service gets implemented into more devices.  According to the press release, “At launch, Redbox Instant by Verizon will be offered via the web, as well as through home entertainment, tablet and mobile devices, including iOS®, Android™, Samsung® Blu-ray Players and TVs with SmartHub™, LG Smart TV and Blu-ray Players, and Google TV. More devices will be announced in the coming months.”  The Xbox 360 has been named as the exclusive gaming console for the service.

The challenge Redbox Instant will have is that people have gotten used to being able to stream TV shows and movies through one service.  I really love the idea of the rental credits, but I would never be able to replace Netflix with this service.  They would have to exist side by side for me.  What I fear would happen at that point is that I would only be using the rental credits and that the streaming would go unused, much like the Amazon Instant Video that I get for free with my Prime subscription.

All in all, it is a good service, as long as you are aware of it’s pros and cons.  I give it a thumbs up.